The Waldensian Valleys

Pellice Valley, Germanasca Valley and Lower Chisone Valley are marked by the history of the Waldenses, the religious community of the disciples of Waldo, a 12th-century merchant from Lyon, who lived in these valleys in the Middle Ages and then joined the Protestant reform. In the 17th century, the Waldenses of Piemonte, as well as the Protestants of the Dauphiné, were severely persecuted and forced into exile. Many sought refuge first around Geneva, then in Germany and subsequently embarked on an adventurous journey back home.

Their Trek of Exile in 1686 and the Glorious Return in 1689, an epic march in which they faced the French and Savoyard troops in order to return to their homelands, are today two hiking itineraries, to be covered in several stages, of the European project LE STRADE DEI VALDESI

After risking annihilation in the seventeenth century, the Waldenses, having had their rights recognized only in the mid-nineteenth century, continue to inhabit their valleys where, an exception in the entire Italian territory, they make up a numerically significant Protestant community.